Casablanca piano makes $3.4m in Bonhams TCM auction

The piano on which Dooley Wilson plays As Time Goes By in Casablanca has sold for $3.4m, one of the highest bids ever seen for movie memorabilia at auction.

Casablanca piano
The piano is integral to the film and an iconic piece

The sale formed part of the anticipated TCM Presents…There's No Place Like Hollywood auction, held by Bonhams in conjunction with Turner Classic Movies on November 24 in New York.

It is into the piano's lid that Humphrey Bogart (Rick) tucks the letters of transit, making it central to the plot and one of the most important pieces of memorabilia from the film. Housed in Rick's Café Americain, the piano is present while most of the film's action takes place.

It is also a crucial part of the scene in which Ingrid Bergman (Isla) utters the immortal line: "Play it, Sam. Play As Time Goes By."

The other piano from Casablanca, seen in a flashback to Paris and on screen for a total of 70 seconds, sold for $602,800 to Leonardo DiCaprio at Sotheby's in 2012.

The transit papers that provide a catalyst for the film sold for $118,750 yesterday, while the main entrance doors to Rick's Café Americain made $115,000. Isla's passport, made by Warner Bros' production team, sold for $43,750.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a pair of Humphrey Bogart's stage-worn jodhpurs from Chrysalis for sale.

The lion costume from The Wizard of Oz achieved $3m in the same sale.


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